By Matt de Simone
Botetourt County’s departments consist of hardworking, driven, and accomplished employees who continue to make Botetourt a wonderful place to live.
Tommy Moore has served as Botetourt County Clerk of the Circuit Court for 30 years. From Colonial days to the present time, the duties of the office have changed significantly. Still, the Clerk of the Circuit Court office remains one of the most critical constitutional offices in each county or city in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Circuit clerks are elected officials who keep records for court cases. Clerks act as liaisons to the public regarding judicial matters, answering questions about fines, payments, court appearances, and warrants. There is no particular educational background needed to work in this field, but an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or completing courses in computers and legal terminology may be helpful; experience in the field or professional certification may also prove beneficial. Additionally, aspiring circuit clerks must meet residency requirements.
After 40 years in Botetourt County, Moore enjoys the beauty of Botetourt. He explained that he travels on several mission trips through his church. In that time, he’s managed to see different parts of the country, taking in the diverse landscapes and communities.
“One mission trip I’ve been on several times is to Alaska,” Moore explained in a recent interview. “I say Alaska is a rugged beauty, but Botetourt’s is a serene beauty. I truly believe that. I’ve been on the Clerk’s Association’s Education Committee and Convention Committee for 31 years. Every time I introduce myself (at a meeting or convention), I always say that I am from ‘beautiful Botetourt.'”
Moore looks back at his time spent in Botetourt fondly. Moore witnessed the growth and changes within the county and scenery over the years.
“One of my mother’s favorite sayings was ‘the only constant is change,'” Moore stated. “I think the biggest (change in Botetourt County over the years) is the slide toward technology. When I first started, everything was basically paper-driven. Now, there’s less of that. Everything is digitized now.”
Moore mentioned that he and his staff now “eRecord” documents sent in by residents. The recording of electronic documents began nearly 15 years ago and has now become a regular thing for offices throughout the Commonwealth.
eRecording is the name given to the process of creating, managing, and safeguarding digital copies of official public information. It’s far more complicated than simply scanning documents because they are legally binding and often highly valuable, such as land ownership records.
Moore grew up in Campbell County, and since 1979, he has lived in Botetourt County with his wife, Sandy. Their two daughters, Ashley and Sara, are Lord Botetourt High School graduates and played basketball and ran track for the school. Ashley now lives in South Africa; Sara lives in Forest.
Before he arrived in Botetourt, Moore graduated from Hampton-Sydney and then from the University of Virginia School of Law. He spent four years as a JAG officer in the Marines, stayed in the reserves before and after, and then retired from military service in 2005 after nearly 36 years.
Moore enjoys hunting and fishing with his grandchildren. He is active in civic organizations like the Botetourt Education Foundation and the Botetourt Resource Center. Moore also enjoys his involvement in church activities with Mill Creek Baptist Church.
Another place one can spot Moore is at various educational events throughout Botetourt County. Each year, he enjoys dressing in period costume as John May, the First Clerk, at events held within the Fincastle area.
For more information about the Clerk of the Circuit Court office, visit https://vccaonline.org/. To learn more about Botetourt’s Circuit Court, visit https://www.vacourts.gov/courts/circuit/botetourt/home.html.